When I was pregnant with my first son, I read about a technique called “bedtime affirmations.” I fell in love with the concept and began doing them immediately, even before my son was born. And I’ve been doing them ever since.
I began when each of my sons was a baby, and I still do it now that they’re all adults. And I’ve added my grandchildren. I even do it from a distance since proximity isn’t important, because love has no limits.
I talk to them in my mind, during their first and last half-hours of sleep, using affirming, empowering statements. The premise is that a child is more receptive during light sleep. And that, just after going to sleep or before waking up, it’s easier to reach beyond the conscious mind that’s operating during waking hours, to communicate with the greater part of the child – we can call it the “soul.”
This is when children are listening with their hearts rather than their ears. And the heart listens, not to our words, but to our attitude and intent.
So my first step is always to set aside my personal desires and to let go of concerns about what happened during the day. Then I let my huge love and appreciation for them well up until it energizes my thoughts and attitude.
In that way, my love becomes the filter that my words pass through. And what’s communicated is a feeling of calm, closeness and caring. And nothing works better to build security in children.
I don’t talk to them about their problems. Instead, I talk to them about how capable and wonderful they are, that they’ll have the energy and resources to do whatever they want in their lives, that they’ll always be able to find whatever answers they need, and that they are loved, loveable and loving.
The teen years can be tough. And there were times when I did the affirmations, at the same time that I needed help with specific issues. And still, I didn’t mention the problems. I didn’t say, “You will do this,” or “You won’t do that.” I didn’t try to alter their will or even influence their choices. I only encouraged them to feel loved.
Now that they’re adults, I close my eyes and feel myself holding them and loving them. And I tell them that they’re wonderful, and that they’re doing a super job, and that they’re creating valuable lives.
I couldn’t be prouder of my sons. And for me, that’s confirmation that this affirmation technique creates a helpful difference and is worth the effort.
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Pic by Mike Ricioppo